Second Lines, Real Feeling

Along the parade route.
Along the parade route.

This is normally a huge parade. It didn’t disappoint. The Original N.O. Lady and Men Buckjumpers Annual Parade is 31 years old. It is bold. Powerful. Loud.

It was bigger than huge on Sunday. I’m not sure if people were making a statement about last weekend’s events. Or, if an 80 degree Thanksgiving weekend brought everybody out on the street.

Second lines are happy, joyous and safe events. They are neighborhood events. Tell me that I shouldn’t go and guess what? I go. So did just about everybody else in Central City. The streets were packed. At one point, I was in the Stooges Brass Band. At another point, I was in Rebirth. I had no choice. What could be better? Two legendary brass bands. And, I got to walk with them. How cool is that?

As I wrote last week, this is my last second line for a while. I’m not sure if I’m retiring from the parades, but I’ve got other stuff to do. I’ll go out with a lot of visual noise. A big racket.

I had a helluva great shooting day. I’m not exactly sure why. I was very focused. No pun intended. I saw with eyes wide open. I don’t know why. I just did. If I could bottle that and sell it, I’d be a very rich man.

As I’ve said in the past, WordPress is a writer’s blog. That said, there are a lot of bloggers that discuss “getting in the mood to write.” I don’t know what to tell them. All I know is I have a pre-event routine. Doing the little things that I do may not guarantee that I’ll photograph well, but it sort of sets the mood. Opens the door. Helps me to get in the zone. Or, something like that.


You’ll see the pictures over the course of the week. Even then, I’m not sure that I can show you all — or, even — most of them. I’ll try my best.

The pictures. What is the heart and soul of a second line? Social Clubs? Brass bands? The neighborhood itself? The second line? For me, I suppose it really is about family. Joy. Reunion. Sort of a rolling party.


That’s what these pictures are about. These are the moments for which I look. The ones that I anticipate. The moments I to which I react.

They are also about just being there. Seeing. Situational awareness. Paying attention.  Constant motion. I wish I could tell you more than that. There’s no secret to taking these pictures.  Just a lot of practice and hard work.

Then there’s this. You know what’s coming. There’s only about a week or so to go in this funding campaign.

Good teeth.
Good teeth.
Last hug.
Last hug.


      1. Wonderful. I hope you don’t retire from the “line”. Your photos are too critical and transfer the energy that is taking place with these parades in an intimate and refreshing way.


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